This guide outlines what to expect when you see a doctor for a cosmetic procedure.

It does not cover cosmetic procedures performed by other professionals – just doctors. The guide is for procedures that improve your appearance and selfesteem. It does not cover procedures that improve your physical health and safety in other ways. For example, it does not cover mole removal where this is done because of the threat of skin cancer.

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Ref: Medical Council of NZ -


You and your doctor: A guide for patients and their families

The relationship you develop with your doctor is very important. It should be based on mutual trust, clear communication, honesty and respect. Seeing one doctor over time help your doctor know about you and your help and provide the best possible care. In turn, you get to know your doctor better and that makes each visit easier.

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Ref: Medical Council of NZ -


The important of clear sexual boundaries in the patient-doctor relationship: A guide for patients.

The Medical Council supports touch as a crucially important part of the practice of medicine. Healing touch is caring and non-intrusive – it is not sexual or exploitative.This booklet outlines your doctor’s responsibility to keep appropriate sexual boundaries with patients, former patients and family members of patients. 

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Ref: Medical Council of NZ -

Enrolling with a GP

Zero fees for under-13s – From 1 July 2015 most general practices offer free visits to under-13s.

It’s free to enrol

It’s free to register or enrol with a GP – but they may charge a consultation fee each time you go to see them after that.

GPs normally charge a higher fee, often called a casual rate, for patients that aren’t enrolled at their practice.

If you enrol with a GP, your care will be subsidised – so you’ll pay a reduced consultation fee.

Who can enrol?

GPs can only enrol people who are eligible for publicly funded health services. When you enrol, you may be asked to show proof of eligibility – such as your passport or birth certificate. You’ll be asked to sign an enrolment form. 

Your medical record

Your medical record is kept with the GP you’re enrolled with, but any health professional involved in your care can look at your record. You can ask to look at your record at any time.

The Privacy Commissioner website has advice on health privacy.

Community Services Cards and High Use Health Cards

If you're visiting a medical centre where you’re not enrolled, you’ll pay less if you have a Community Services Card or High Use Health Card. (If you are enrolled at the centre, your fee will already be lower because it is subsidised by the government.)

Check the Ministry of Social Development website or call 0800 559 009 to see if you’re eligible for a Community Services Card

Care Plus

If you have a long-term health condition or a terminal illness, you may be eligible for Care Plus.

GPs get extra government funding for Care Plus patients, so can provide additional care at no further cost to the patient.


Other fees

Immunisation is free for all children even if they aren’t usually eligible for publicly funded health services.

GPs can charge a fee for services provided outside of a consultation, such as a repeat prescription or referral letter to a specialist. 


If you're seeing your GP about an injury caused by an accident, you’ll be charged a lower fee if it's covered by ACC.

Specialist care

Your doctor may refer you to a hospital or specialist doctor for further assessment or diagnosis.

  • Specialist care is free through the public health system, but you may go on a waiting list.
  • If you want to get specialist advice quickly, you may wish to use a private hospital or specialist. You will have to pay a fee for this, unless you have private health insurance. 

Changing your doctor

When you register or enrol with a new GP, you’ll be asked to sign a form so your records can be transferred from your old GP.

  • A GP should not refuse to enrol new patients unless they already have too many patients.
  • A GP can terminate your enrolment if there is an ‘irreparable breakdown’ in the relationship.

If you wish to make a complaint about the care you get from your GP, contact the Health and Disability Commissioner or the New Zealand Medical Council.